Created by Parachute Canada, Concussion Ed gives Canadian parents, youth and educators free access to critical concussion resources.
We know which limits to push and which ones to respect.
We won’t let a short-term injury become a long-term battle.
We take concussions seriously. And you should too.
Concussion can leave a lifelong impact
Sports are important to Canadians. They play a major role in who we are as a country. They make us healthier and happier. They bring us together as teams, fans and competitors. But unfortunately, the benefits of sports don’t come without inherent risks.
Concussions are a serious risk for athletes in any sport. A concussion is more than just a headache or a temporary loss of cognitive ability — it’s an invisible injury that can result in permanent brain damage if not treated correctly. But with proper identification and management, concussions are also treatable. Our online hub can help coaches, parents and athletes learn how to treat a concussion so injured players can get back in the game safely.
“…speaking of protocols, let’s have one. Let’s keep it as simple as possible and as strong and as accurate as possible.”
Eric Lindros, NHL player, Olympic gold medalist, Hockey Hall of Fame, speaking at the Governor General’s Conference on Concussion in Sport
“We were looking at the bruises and blood on her knee and didn’t realize the most serious injury was the concussion in her head.”
“You have to teach smart recovery. If you want to play sport long-term then sometimes that means short-term breaks.”
Rosie MacLennan, double Olympic gold medalist
“You can’t expect a concussed athlete to know they are concussed.”
Karolina Wisniewska, eight-time Paralympic medalist, alpine skiing
“I think even when athletes are aware they should take time off, there’s a lot of fear that taking time off you’ll lose you gains that you made in training.”
Tara Whitten, Olympic bronze medalist, cycling
“When you have a concussion, you don’t know you’re repeating your words. You don’t know how out of it you actually are.”
Mercedes Nicoll, Canadian Olympic snowboarder
“I had a choice to make, as an athlete and as a mom: whether to identify all the symptoms I was having, or to hide them. It was really important for me to speak up on behalf of myself and let people know that I needed help.”
Robbi Weldon, Canadian Paralympic cyclist
Face the facts about concussion
If you weren’t “knocked out”, you don’t have a concussion.
Only about 10 percent of concussions involve loss of consciousness.
If there are no instant symptoms after impact, there's no concussion.
Concussion symptoms can appear even days after injury.
I can't get a concussion if I'm wearing a helmet.
If someone wears a proper fitted helmet, it can’t prevent a concussion but it can reduce its severity and prevent other brain injuries, like skull fractures.
Up to 8.5x
Increased concussion risk after having a prior concussion.
Percent of all traumatic brain injuries sustained by children and youth.
Increase in reported head injuries in football, hockey and soccer for children and youth.
The Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport
Like any other injury, the overwhelming majority of people fully recover from a concussion when it is properly identified and managed. Parachute’s Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport helps ensure that athletes with a suspected concussion receive timely, appropriate care so they can get better and return to what they love best: sport.
This Guideline addresses the following key areas:
Head injury recognition
Onsite medical assessment
Multidisciplinary concussion care
Return to sport
The four Rs of concussion management
the signs and symptoms of a concussion
the athlete from the game or practice
the athlete to a healthcare professional
to school and then to sport based on the recommendations of a physician
In most cases, the brain can heal itself completely when a concussion is properly managed. The first step in that management is being aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
A concussion can be sustained from any blow to the head, face, neck or body that causes the brain to move rapidly in the skull. If an athlete is concussed, they may a show wide variety of symptoms even days after the initial injury.
If an athlete shows or reports any concussion symptoms, or just “doesn’t feel right”, they should be removed from play and examined by a healthcare professional.
The brain needs time to heal after a concussion. Recent research has shown that activities that require concentration, such as reading, texting or screen time can cause concussion symptoms to reappear or worsen.
To properly manage a concussion, precautions need to be taken to ensure the individual returns to school or work at the right pace with the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Athletes who return to activities before recovering from a concussion are more likely to sustain a second concussion with more severe symptoms. However, once the brain has healed and with a physician’s approval, an athlete can gradually start returning to physical activities.
Returning to play safely requires patience, attention and caution, and will be a different experience for every athlete.
The latest concussion news from SIRC
Concussion in Sport - Translating Evidence into Action
From playgrounds to international podiums, millions of Canadians participate in sport every day. While the health and social benefits of participating in sport far outweigh any potential risks, there are risks of injury. Whether you’re a coach, administrator, parent or athlete, we all have a...Read more
Being Smart about Concussions
After concussion: Student-athletes return-to-learn
Canadian Sport Concussion Workshop at the Canadian Museum of Nature
On June 8, 2018, SIRC together with Sport Canada and Parachute, facilitated a workshop bringing together Canada’s national, provincial and community sport organizations and participants to coordinate efforts in the management of concussions.
Held in the context of the Canadian Museum of Nature’s exhibition on The Brain: An Inside Story, the event featured the Honorable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, as well as Olympian Mercedes Nicholl and Paralympian Robbi Weldon.
SIRC also unveiled the new We Are Headstrong concussion awareness campaign highlighting tools for sports to use when promoting the national harmonized approach to concussion management.
The Federal-Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Concussion in Sport
The F-P/T Workgroup was created in 2015, co-chaired by Sport Canada and the Government of Quebec, and is comprised of:
One of the key challenges in addressing concussions in Canada is the lack of harmonization amongst all the existing tools and protocols. In order to establish a common foundation from which to continue its work, the Workgroup developed a harmonized approach of awareness, prevention, detection, management and surveillance, which experts have indicated are the components that need to be addressed in order to tackle concussions in sport.
This approach was endorsed by all Ministers for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation across the country at their Conference in June 2016.
Sport-specific concussion protocols
Check below to see if your sport has released its specific protocols for dealing with concussion.
Download your concussion toolkit
Share the message with your team
In these files you’ll find ready-made communication tools for spreading the campaign messages within your organization. Please contact us if you would like source artwork to create your own co-branded versions.
If you need a downloadable version, please contact SIRC
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We’ve assembled some of the valuable Concussion awareness and prevention resources made available through our partners. Please download or use as inspiration to make your own tools.
Help spread awareness about concussions with posters, videos and other marketing materials.
A tool from Hockey Canada for anyone interested in learning about the prevention, recognition, and response to a concussion, including responsible return-to-play protocol.
World Rugby Concussion Management
World Rugby’s concussion app, designed for anyone involved in Rugby - players, coaches, parents, teachers, match officials, spectators, and anyone else with a role or interest in the Game.